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How to Apply for a Marriage License in Illinois

Posted on in Premarital Agreement

Illinois family law attorney, Illinois divorce lawyer, prenup, Weddings typically involve a lot of planning, even when you forgo a traditional ceremony for a trip to the courthouse. However, before you make too many plans, make sure that you are eligible to marry under Illinois law, and consider a premarital agreement as well.

Here are the requirements for couples looking to marry in Illinois:

  • Both parties must be at least 18 years old;
  • If the parties are 16 or 17 years old they may obtain a marriage license with parental consent;
  • Generally, the parties cannot be blood relatives, but first cousins who are older than 50 may legally marry;
  • The parties cannot already be married to someone else (this includes being in the process of divorce); and
  • If a prior marriage or civil union has ended within the last six months, the party must provide a certified copy of the dissolution, annulment or death record.

Once it is determined that you and your fiancé can get married, you can then apply for a marriage license. Where the application should be filed depends on which county you are getting married in.

Getting Married in Kane County

If you are getting married in Kane County, you must apply for your license at the Kane County clerk’s office. The couple must appear together to fill out the application and to pay the $27 cash fee. Both parties must present valid identification with proof of age. The license will be issued that day, usually within 30 minutes. Keep in mind that the license is effective only in Kane County and is valid for 60 days. If you do not marry within this time period then your license is void. You will have to re-apply for a new license.

Note: Illinois law permits marriage to be performed by either a clergy member or a judge. Witnesses are not required. The individual who performs the ceremony must complete his or her portion of the marriage license and deliver it to the clerk’s office within 10 days.

Getting Married in DuPage County

If you are getting married in DuPage County, you must apply for your license at the DuPage County clerk’s office. The couple must appear together to fill out the application and to pay the $35 fee, which can be paid in cash or by check or credit card (for an extra $1). Both parties must present valid identification with proof of age. The license is valid for 60 days and is only effective in DuPage County.

Note: Civil unions can be converted to a marriage license in both counties. If you are a same-sex couple that entered into a civil union before the marriage equality law took effect on July 1, then you might want to pursue this option.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility to marry in Illinois, state and county-specific marriage requirements or converting a civil union to a marriage license, contact one of our experienced St. Charles family law attorneys for a consultation. We can also discuss your options regarding premarital (also referred to as prenuptial) agreements.

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